NewRiver set for IPO in London

A second property IPO is to be staged in London as a specialist retail investor and asset manager seeks to raise £250 million. The capital raising comes one month after Max Property Group was admitted to the AIM market in London and raised £220 million.

Start up company NewRiver Retail has become the second UK investment fund manager to use the an IPO to raise equity. The firm is seeking to raise £250 million (€293 million; $411 million) on London’s junior stock exchange.

According to documents filed with the stock exchange, NewRiver is hoping to be admitted to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on 24 June and will target the UK property market with a specific emphasis on retail assets. It said it intended to capitalise on the significant and rapid fall in capital values in the retail sector. It wants to “add value” and generate returns for shareholders through capital and rental income growth, “active entrepreneurial asset management” and by recycling assets.

Initially, the firm’s business plan is to target opportunities where the predominant rental income is derived from tenants operating in the “value” sector and food retailing.

The firm will be led by former banking heavyweight Paul Roy. Roy was at Merrill Lynch for 30 years, at one time serving as co-president of Merrill Lynch’s global markets and investment banking division. He retired from the investment bank earlier this decade and established NewSmith Capital Partners, where Michael Marks is chairman. Marks is the former executive chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East and Africa. Merrill Lynch is the book runner for NewRiver.

David Lockhart, founder and former chief executive of a Scottish property company called Halladale has become a director of the firm. Lockhart floated Halladale on AIM in 2001. At the time, the move bucked the trend of property companies being taken private. The company was sold in 2007 to Australian company Stockdale.

Shelagh Mason, Peter Tom and Serena Tremlett are the other directors.

Details of the admission come hot-on-the-heels of the IPO last month of Max Property Group on the same exchange. Max Property raised £220 million and was over-subscribed.